By Sa’adi Thawfeeq
Sri Lanka facing a daunting task of scoring 386 for victory over India had their backs to the wall to avoid defeat after losing three wickets for 67 runs by the end of the fourth day of the third and final Test at the SSC grounds.
They still require 319 runs with seven wickets in hand going into the final day tomorrow with the three-match series level at one-all.
Sri Lankan batsmen’s weakness against the seaming ball was once again exposed by India’s three-man seam attack that had destroyed their top order in the first innings reducing them to 47-6.
Once again it was a fired up Ishant Sharma who did the damage removing Upul Tharanga for a duck and Dinesh Chandimal for 18 both edging catches behind. Sharma had taken five for 54 in the first innings.
Dimuth Karunaratne also went the same way to Umesh Yadav without scoring and Sri Lanka plunged to 21-3.
Kaushal Silva (24) and Angelo Mathews (22) survived the remaining 53 minutes without any further loss before bad light ended play with ten overs remaining for the day.
India’s last two wickets added a further 40 runs before they were all out for 274, leaving Sri Lanka with 29 overs to survive for the day in the final session.
Ravichandran Ashwin did the major part of the scoring completing his fifth half-century in Test cricket before being last out for 58 scored off 87 balls with seven fours. He provided Dhammika Prasad with his fourth wicket of the innings and a career best eight for the match (8/169).
Nuwan Pradeep took the other wicket to fall in the session having Yadav caught off a pull on the long leg boundary by Rangana Herath for four to end with figures of four for 62, his best effort in an innings.
The session was marred by Prasad and Sharma having a spat at each other with Prasad continuously bowling short-pitched deliveries at him. It was a Sharma short ball that hit Prasad on the hand when he was batting in the first innings and the Lankan quick was trying to have one back on Sharma. Chandimal also got into the fray by making physical contact with Sharma on the field which led to the umpires having to call up captain Angelo Mathews to calm things down. The incident is certainly not going to go unnoticed by the match referee. Sharma got into trouble in the second Test at the P Sara Oval being fined 65 percent of his match fee for giving send-offs to Lahiru Thirimanne and Chandimal.
|India 1st innings||R||B||4s||6s||SR|
|KL Rahul||b Prasad||2||2||0||0||100.00|
|CA Pujara||not out||135||277||13||0||48.73
|AM Rahane||lbw b Pradeep||8||13||2||0||61.53|
|V Kohli*||c †Perera b Mathews||18||60||3||0||30.00|
|RG Sharma||c Tharanga b Prasad||26||65||3||1||40.00|
|STR Binny||lbw b Prasad||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|NV Ojha†||c Tharanga b Kaushal||21||54||3||0||38.88|
|R Ashwin||c †Perera b Prasad||5||14||1||0||35.71|
|A Mishra||st †Perera b Herath||59||87||7||0||67.81
|I Sharma||b Herath||6||9||0||1||66.66
|UT Yadav||b Herath||4||14||0||0||28.57|
|Extras||(lb 2, w 3, nb 6, pen 5)||18|
|Total||(lb 2, w 4, nb 7, pen 5)||312|
|(3.11 runs per over)|
Fall of wickets : 1-2 (Rahul, 0.2 ov), 2-14 (Rahane, 3.4 ov), 3-64 (Kohli, 23.3 ov), 4-119 (RG Sharma, 45.5 ov), 5-119 (Binny, 45.6 ov), 6-173 (Ojha, 60.6 ov), 7-180 (Ashwin, 65.1 ov), 8-284 (Mishra, 92.2 ov), 9-298 (I Sharma, 96.6 ov), 10-312 (Yadav, 100.1 ov)
|KTGD Prasad||26||4||100||4||3.84||115||13||0||(4nb, 1w)|
|Sri Lanka 1st innings||R||B||4s||6s||SR|
|WU Tharanga||c Rahul b I Sharma||4||23||1||0||17.39
|JK Silva||b Yadav||3||11||13||0||27.27
|FDM Karunaratne||c Rahul b Binny||11||37||0||0||29.72
|LD Chandimal||lbw b Binny||23||27||5||0||85.18
|AD Mathews*||c †Ojha b I Sharma||1||9||0||0||11.11
|HDRL Thirimanne||c Rahul b I Sharma||0||7||0||0||0.00|
|MDKJ Perera†||c Kohli b I Sharma||55||56||9||0||98.21
|KTGD Prasad||st †Ojha b Mishra||27||23||4||0||117.39
|HMRKB Herath||c †Ojha b I Sharma||49||84||8||0||58.33|
|PHT Kaushal||lbw b Mishra||16||39||3||0||41.02
|N Pradeep||not out||2||5||0||0||40.00|
|Extras||(lb 1, w 2, nb 7)||9|
|Total||(10 wickets; 52.2 overs)||201|
|(3.84 runs per over)|
Fall of wickets : 1-11 (Tharanga, 4.5 ov), 2-11 (Silva, 5.2 ov), 3-40 (Chandimal, 11.5 ov), 4-45 (Mathews, 16.1 ov), 5-47 (Karunaratne, 17.6 ov), 6-47 (Thirimanne, 18.2 ov), 6-48* (Prasad, retired not out, 18.3 ov), 7-127 (Perera, 33.4 ov), 8-156 (Kaushal, 44.4 ov), 9-183 (Herath, 49.5 ov), 10-201 (Prasad, 52.2 ov)
|I Sharma||15||2||54||5||3.60||68||7||0||(6nb, 1w)|
|India 2nd innings||R||B||4s||6s||SR|
|CA Pujara||b Prasad||0||2||0||0||0.00
|KL Rahul||b Pradeep||2||8||0||0||25.00|
|AM Rahane||lbw b Pradeep||4||17||1||0||23.52|
|V Kohli*||c Tharanga b Pradeep||21||63||2||0||33.33|
|RG Sharma||c Pradeep b Prasad||50||72||4||1||69.44|
|STR Binny||c Tharanga b Prasad||49||62||7||0||79.03|
|NV Ojha†||c Karunaratne b Herath||35||63||4||0||55.55|
|A Mishra||run out (Silva)||39||62||4||0||62.90
|R Ashwin||c †Perera b Prasad||58||87||7||0||66.66|
|UT Yadav||c Herath b Pradeep||4||19||0||0||21.05
|I Sharma||not out||2||6||0||0||33.33
|Extras||(b 1, lb 1, w 3, nb 5)||10|
|Total||(all out; 76 overs)||274|
|(3.60 runs per over)|
Fall of wickets : 1-0 (Pujara, 0.2 ov), 2-2 (Rahul, 3.2 ov), 3-7 (Rahane, 5.2 ov), 4-64 (Kohli, 22.2 ov), 5-118 (RG Sharma, 32.5 ov), 6-160 (Binny, 44.2 ov), 7-179 (Ojha, 51.3 ov), 8-234 (Mishra, 67.2 ov), 9-269 (Yadav, 74.6 ov), 10-274 (Ashwin, 75.6 ov)
|KTGD Prasad||19||3||69||4||3.63||82||8||0||(4nb, 2w)|
|Sri Lanka 2nd innings||(target: 386 runs)||R||B||4s||6s||SR|
|WU Tharanga||c †Ojha b I Sharma||0||7||0||0||0.00
|JK Silva||not out||24||42||4||0||57.14
|FDM Karunaratne||c †Ojha b Yadav||0||7||0||0||0.00|
|LD Chandimal||c Kohli b I Sharma||18||17||3||0||105.88
|AD Mathews*||not out||22||37||4||0||59.45
|Extras||(lb 2, nb 1)||3|
|Total||(3 wickets; 18.1 overs)||67|
|(3.68 runs per over)|
Fall of wickets : 1-1 (Tharanga, 0.6 ov), 2-2 (Karunaratne, 3.2 ov), 3-21 (Chandimal, 6.6 ov)
To bat : HDRL Thirimanne, MDKJ Perera†, KTGD Prasad, HMRKB Herath, PHT Kaushal, N Pradeep